Carny World

Note: The Monday Taki post is up. This week I use the expression “of course” far too many times. Of course I do. There’s also new content behind the green door.  I’m watching Deep Space Nine and not liking it very much.


It is easy to forget, but one of the predictions about the post-scarcity, technological age was that it would result in a great leveling of society. Class it was argued, was the result of there never being enough for everyone. Once there was plenty, there would be no need for some to horde at the expense of others. Of course, the high-tech society would abandon the silliness of class distinctions. Everyone would wear gray Lycra jumpsuits and happily perform their roles in society.

Like so much that comes from the Utopians, the class-less society assumed things about people that could never be true. Hierarchy is an essential part of the human condition, which means signaling status is a feature, not a bug. The rich guy driving the expensive car is signally his status in the same way a chieftain would signal his status with ornamental weaponry. Even in a world where everyone can rely on having plenty of the essentials, status and status signally still matter.

In fact, they probably count for more in a rich society than a poor one. A guy who is worth fifty million can do a lot of signaling. He can have a supercar, a big house in the country, expensive tastes. The billionaire can have all of those things, of course, and that is a big problem. How does the billionaire show he is a bigger fish than the guy worth fifty million? He needs to have other stuff like political access, cultural influence, and global attention. His status is measured in attention.

Attention as currency is not confined to the plutocrats. This is one distinguishing feature of the media age that arose with the American empire. Before WW2, the super-rich would build mansions and fund public projects like theaters, colleges, and museums, but this was always what the top of society did to reinforce public virtue. In the medieval period, the elite built churches, and cathedrals. In the Renaissance they supported great artists and later they supported the sciences.

The world changed after the war as material progress suddenly accelerated with the spread of American-style capitalism. Material excess first took root in America and with it the growth of the attention society. Popular culture, after all, is about getting public attention in some way. In the early phase of pop culture, people got famous through some talent for entertainment. Now people get attention by being unusually freakish, deranged, or hysterical. The crazier the better.

This is why so many people now experience the world with their mobile device held up in front of their face. They are mining their daily experience for the currency of the age, which is often a viral video or a lot of likes on the social media platform. It is also why the super-rich are fond of supporting increasingly deranged social fads. If the freak show is the cathedral of the modern age, the super-rich must show their status by building bigger and better freak shows for the people.

One result of the giant freak show is that the culture is becoming less rational as it becomes more bizarre. The governor of New York, for example, gets a pass for murdering old people through ineptitude, but he could end up in jail for upsetting a gentle lady in his employ. Of course, that gentle lady could very well have an OnlyFans account and be in favor of mutilating children, so crazy people can pretend that sex is an imaginary part of the patriarchy.

In other words, the attention seeking society is one in which you can be both a vulgar degenerate and an intolerant prude. The media is awash in messages to young women saying they can only fulfill their purpose in life by being a slut. On the other hand, if a man treats a woman like a slut, he gets chased by an angry mom of sluts. You can be certain that the women claiming Cuomo hurt their delicate feelings are mouthy advocates for every vulgar item on the feminist to do list.

Morality is the software of every human society. It is the unwritten set of rules, the habits of mind, that allow strangers to navigate their way around one another. Morality must have a point and that point is reflected in the organization of society. In a warrior society, the qualities of the warrior are the goals of society. In an aristocratic society, privilege, duty, and honor bound the moral code. The morality of this age is wrapped around the desire for public attention, usually public outrage.

Another aspect of the new morality is that it is arbitrary and random. This is true of the carny world, where stardom is usually dumb luck. The world is full of waitresses that look great and can act. Those that get their big break are those who tick the right box at the right time for some reason. This sense that life and death, success and failure are controlled by the fickle gods of fate is the carny code. It is now becoming the America creed, as we embrace the carny culture.

This is clear in the Cuomo story. The reason Andrew Cuomo is governor is he is the son of a famous mobster. He won the lucky sperm contest. The Covid panic was another big break for him. He got to carry on like a hero, despite the fact he was recklessly putting the lives of old people in jeopardy. The fates were kind to Cuomo, until another turn of the wheel brought him low. Like the tragic figures popular in the carny world, he will be ruined because he made a small mistake, not a big one.

It turns out that the post-scarcity world is like a giant carnival tent. The only thing holding people together is a desire for attention. They need the crowd in order to get the attention of the crowd. Semi-retarded basketball players become billionaires because they are the best performers in the human flea circus. Dingbat barmaids become congressmen because they are good at getting attention. Post-scarcity America is carny world, a freak show celebrating the worst humanity has to offer.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Modern Narodism

Note: I have a final word on car buying the financialization of the car business behind the green door. The regular Taki post is up as well. Comments about it can be made here, as Taki no longer has a comment section.


The political reactionary is an essential component of left-wing mythology, going back to the French Revolution. In fact, most reactionaries are an invention of Left, so they always have an enemy. It is why they tend to go on murder sprees once they gain control of the institutions. The hunt for counter revolutionaries and running dog reactionaries provides fuel for permanent revolution. Once the revolution runs out of enemies, the revolution loses energy and collapses in on itself.

Even though the term reactionary has been abused by the Left, used as a slur against critics and opponents, it does not mean there are no reactionaries. The Thermidorian Reaction was a real thing. The Restoration of the French monarchy was, in part, a reactionary development. The restoration of the monarchy after the death of Cromwell could be classified as a reactionary event. After all, Charles II did order the body of Cromwell to be disinterred and displayed in chains.

While the Left owns the term, political reaction is not just a right-wing phenomenon nor is it strictly political. It can be argued that socialism and communism are reactions to the Industrial Revolution. After all, it was the Marxist who popularized the term. It was an 19th century pejorative for the current state of the world at the time. Various forms of socialism were a reaction to the sudden growth of a new class, who gained their wealth and power through the acquisition of industrial capital.

Narodism, which was a socialist movement in pre-revolutionary Russia, was a reaction to both the rise of capital and tsarism. The Narodniks, as they were called at the time, were a form of agrarian socialism rooted in the idea that the wealth of Russia was in the peasantry and small craftsman in the countryside. Initially, they were a reaction to the size and scale of the tsarist system of rule. They soon evolved into a reaction to the growing power of capital, just like other socialists of the age.

The interesting thing about the Narodniks is they were more than just a political or economic movement. They were a cultural movement as well. Faced with the sheer size of the tsarist system and the rapid cultural changes promised by the growth of industry, their response was to go back to the cultural roots of the people. The term Narodism comes from the word “narod”, a word equivalent to volk, which is a term familiar to most on the dissident right.

This is something relevant to this age. The technological revolution has allowed the managerial state to grow into something inconceivably massive. We live in an age in which there is little privacy. The eyes of the system are everywhere, even in our homes and in our private conversations. There is no way to escape the unblinking eye of the surveillance state. One force behind the current unrest is the growing sense that all of us are subject to the unwanted gaze of the managerial state.

Another aspect is the rise of the new class. Like the sudden appearance of the capital class in the industrial revolution, we suddenly have a new powerful class that gained its power and wealth through the capture of information. This new class did not get rich by building a better mouse trap. They got rich capturing an information bottleneck or a monopoly of some information service. Michael Bloomberg literally got rich from a monopoly on information to the financial service sector.

Another parallel to the Narodniks we are seeing is the “back to the people” approach by the various tribes on the dissident right. The Narodniks adopted the traditional clothing of the rural people and worked hard to portray themselves as the vanguard of the authentic Russian people. We see something like that on the dissident right. There is a desire to return to a more authentic way of living, rooted in local community. Like the Narodniks, the dissident right is more cultural than political.

The thing is though, the argument in favor of the Narodniks being reactionary falls apart when you look at their overall goals. They may have wanted to “return to the people” in a cultural and spiritual sense, but they did not want to return to a past system. Their program was a departure from the past and present. A proper way to describe what they imagined was something like a return to a point in the past and a do-over back to this point, but with a different set of choices.

This is something that kicks around the dissident right. There is an understanding that there is no going back. Even if you could restore things back to some point in the past when things were better, the roots of the present lie in that past. Liberal democracy is the fruit of American history. A do-over would most likely lead us right back to where we are now. In this regard, modern dissidents are more realistic than the Narodniks in that there is no idealized past or population at the center.

In this regard, civic nationalism is closer to modern reaction. They have created an idealized and largely fictional past. It was a series of innovation by their enemy that sent the country off course. They believe that if we just return to “our constitutional principles” everything will magically get back on the righteous path. Not only do they want to rip the past seventy years from the history books, but they would also like to remove all of the history that makes their imagined past plausible.

One last note on the Narodniks relative to this age. For the most part, the movement was a failure in that it failed to achieve any of its goals, other than the assassination of the Tsar in 1881. Their effort to educate and train the peasantry into a revolutionary force was a failure. The Narodniks were mostly urban intellectuals who had no understanding of the peasants. The assassination of the Tsar lost them whatever support they had among the people.

What they did, however, is lay the groundwork for what came next. Their idea of building an alternative base of power outside the system was adopted by 20th century revolutionary movements. Their tactics also informed others. Their organizational style and use of small group tactics were also a forerunner. Their ideas on generating debate outside what was allowed was an important contribution. They understood that the people needed to be reconditioned before they could challenge the system.

This is the final parallel to modern dissidents. Much of what goes on in dissident politics is a debate about challenging the prevailing orthodoxy. While we do not have peasants in the traditional sense, we do have them in a spiritual sense. Rewiring how they think of themselves and the system that created them, the “converting normie” thing, is an important part of dissident politics. Like the Narodniks, this must happen in small groups using non-traditional tactics to work around the system.

This is why the Narodniks and modern dissidents would fall outside the traditional definition of reactionary. The initial energy is a reaction to the changes in the culture brought about by rapid innovation, but there is no desire to return to the past. Instead, these movements are pre-reactionary and proto-revolutionary, a transition phase in the response to the current age. Dissident politics is a rejection of the modern and what created it, with a vague understanding of what comes next.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Social War In The Synopticon

Note: The regular Monday post Taki post is up. This week is a look at the vulgar circus we call Washington and the carny trash running it. There’s also some new content up behind the green door. This week I review the 1951 classic, A Place In The Sun.


When one takes a look at what is happening in the West, particularly the English speaking nations, the first thing to notice is the lack of vocabulary. Is this a civil war we are seeing or is it just cultural unrest? How should the sides be labeled? The people in charge of the institutions call themselves the resistance and their declared enemies are people devoid of any power, beyond numbers. Those people call themselves the silent majority, despite not being silent or a majority.

Just as the labels make little sense, the comparisons to fictional and historical examples do not hold up either. Is what we are experiencing like Orwell’s 1984? Not in any meaningful way. It may be closer to Huxley’s Brave New World, but our managerial class is nothing like the World State, in terms of intelligence and purpose. There is no Mustafa Mond in our ruling class. Similarly, the comparisons to authoritarian states of the past are nothing more than superficial.

While there is nothing new in this age with regards to the human condition and human relations, we live in a new age. Technological progress brought about by the microprocessor is changing the nature of human society. While Orwell could imagine a world where everyone is watched by the state, he could not imagine a world where everyone is watched by everyone. Huxley could imagine a highly ordered society controlled by a few; he could not imagine artificial intelligence.

That is the first bit of language that needs defining. The panopticon is a concept most know, as it is a trope in many movies. This is the world where a few watches the many, like in a prison. The guards use cameras, search lights and electronic detection devices to monitor the prisoners. The idea behind it is that the prisoners never really know if they are being watched at any moment, but they know that they could be watched at any moment, no matter where they are in the system.

America is now a synopticon. This is a term coined by Norwegian sociologist Thomas Mathiesen to describe a society in which the few are watched by many. While the panopticon is a one-to-many relationship, with the one being the controlling authority, the synopticon is a many-to-many relationship. Any one person can be watched by many, but also part of the many watching another. It is a world where everyone is an input devise, feeding what they hear and see into the system.

This is an important concept. It is a system. The people holding up their mobile phones and posting the results to their social media page are not operating as conscious agents of the state or any particular interest. They are just nodes on the system. The same is true of the various devices deployed to monitor behavior. The people installing them may have a reason, but that reason exists within the system itself. That surveillance video posted to the cloud is consumed by the synopticon as data.

Take a second to consider how many eyes are on you at any moment. If you own a modern automobile, it is tracking and reporting your driving habits. Your phone, of course, is tracking your whereabouts and the people you meet. CCTV cameras silently record your activity. Your web browser tracks your reading habits. The smart TV monitors your viewing habits. If you have one of the security devices or a smart home device, it is keeping tabs on you inside your home.

If you wanted to get a visual image of what your life is like in the synopticon, imagine a world where everyone is naked, lives in glass houses and can see that everyone is looking at everyone else. Now, imagine yourself observing that world and noticing that everyone is sure they are not, in fact, naked, living in a glass house and being watched all the time. In the panopticon, everyone knows they are being watched and by whom, but in the synopticon, people sense it, but do not see it.

Unlike the panopticon, where humans are looking for unacceptable behavior, in the synopticon the system does this on its own. For example, the system can examine the data coming in to model communities within society. Community detection algorithms can discover relationships within the complex nature of human societies. Further, it can begin to model those communities and predict behavior of the community, as well as the members of that community, from the data stream.

If you are at the top of the synopticon, this is useful technology as it allows you to reverse engineer social behavior that you wish to suppress. The vast database of human activity that is the synopticon can be used to analyze and understand the attachment members of a subculture have to one another. What commitment level exists among and between members. The value system that holds the group together and how it shapes their activity. This is called Social Bond Theory.

Another key concept to this new world is the social war. In agrarian and industrial societies, civil unrest leads to civil war or possibly revolution. A civil war is when factions within the elite draft the population into their dispute. A revolution is when a new elite rises up outside the old elite and attempts to overthrow them. A social war is one in which all participant groups can be at war with one another, but also in league with one another, for reasons they do not necessarily understand.

An example of this in the modern age is the Antifa phenomenon. They claim to be the heirs of Marxist anti-fascists, but they are not Marxists. They have no coherent ideology, beyond a juvenile form of anarchism. Their opposition is equally ephemeral, as there are no actual fascists in this age. Similarly, their sponsors are in a constant state of agitation, despite control of the institutions. The more they seem to control, the less control they feel they have and the greater their agitation.

What we are experiencing is a social war. Everyone in the system sense they are losing control of the social code that shapes behavior. They seek to regain control of that social code through the conventional means, but winning and losing those fights has no impact on their control of the culture. The imposition of bizarre new moral codes by the elite, for example, are a reaction to their sense of powerlessness. The growing bourgeois radicalism is also a reaction to the perceived loss of control.

That is the key here. A civil war is about control of the state. A revolution is about the same thing, with the added aspect of ideological conflict. A social war is about control of the social code, the invisible set of rules that govern human behavior. As the synopticon takes greater control of that code, the people inside find themselves at war with an invisible enemy, the system itself. This manifests as something like prison gang fights, where frustrations are directed at the visible, rather than the system.

The evolution of the synopticon appears to be a process, perhaps a runaway process, that has escaped the control of the creator. As the friction within society increases, as people are increasingly constrained by the social control systems, the synopticon evolves greater control. Modern society is looking like a boiling pot. The more it boils, the tighter the lid is drawn down. Inside, the increasingly aggressive and antagonistic conflict is causing the pot to boil more violently.

This is where we are now. It is not a Hobbesian war of all against all, but rather an increasing friction between members of society. This friction arises from their increasingly confined social space. It turns out that the old axiom about familiarity breeding contempt is true. Instead of a society becoming more cooperative as it becomes more integrated, it is becoming increasingly hostile. Meanwhile, the synopticon jams us all closer together, in all our hostile ugliness.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Let’s Go Backwards

Most people on this side of the great divide have concluded that the time for fixing what is broken in America has passed. The historical processes that have been unleashed by past error will just have to run their course. What comes after will be whatever the winners of the great struggle create. What if that is not true and there is a window to stop this process? What things could we do to break this cycle of madness that seems to have gripped the American empire?

One thing that should be done right away for no other reason than to slow things down is shutting off the mobile phone system. Humans evolved to interact with one another in person, not through the virtual reality of the mobile device. Everywhere you go you see people walking around like zombies, glued to their phone. It is like the drug soma from the novel Brave New World. The difference is this drug puts people into a trance in which their senses are bombarded with data that irritate them.

One reason we have become an outrage culture is outrage is the only way to get attention from others. In a world where people are linked to a constant stream of images and bursts of text, getting noticed means being outlandish of outrageous within those data streams. On the other hand, being glued to the data stream leaves little room for real human interaction and even less room for real emotion. Large swaths of the population only feel human when they are outraged by the stream.

This would not be as difficult to do as you might think. The rulers could impose a dollar per minute tax on the service. Sure, the wireless firms would fight it, but the government has tanks and men with guns. Shoot enough wireless executives and the rest either run away or fall in line. The firm slap of authority is best conveyed against the wall of the prison, after a quick trial. It was not that long ago when mobile charges were prohibitive and very few people could afford a mobile phone.

Similarly, the big social media platforms have become a problem. They are nothing more than cauldrons of human misery now. Again, it was not so long ago when these platforms did not exist. If we got rid of Facebook and Twitter, the world does not change in any important ways. People would simply migrate back to small private groups on-line or go outside again. Turning off the big social platforms would have an immediate positive impact on the psyche of the public.

Shutting these down would be easier than limiting the mobile device. Enforcement of Section 230 along with new privacy laws that prohibit them from harvesting your activity on-line would shut them down in weeks. Once they are subject to the same laws as everyone else and they cannot steal from their users, their business model would collapse in a hurry. Small platforms would still exist, but as labors of love or as small businesses run by one or two people with a narrow interest.

Another rollback would have to be the cameras. If you are out in public and have a heart attack or you are attacked by a criminal, people pull out their phones and begin taking pics of your suffering. They rather hope you die so they can get a video that will go viral. Combined with the cameras put up by the government and business, all of us now live in a synopticon. This is a world where all of us are individually monitored by all of us, a mass of camera wielding ghouls.

The solution here is your image is yours and you own it. Anyone possessing your image or distributing your image without your express permission is no different than someone trafficking in stolen goods. If someone wants to post your bad day on-line, they need your permission. The platform hosting it needs your permission. Otherwise, they are liable for possessing your property without your permission. This would also apply to security cameras. They can be used only in a courtroom.

This is not a novel concept. Many states still have laws on the books, for example, against filming a public road. Movie companies used to need permission to use video of people walking down a street. Your image used to be your property. A big part of what ails us is we have allowed the ownership of your information to fall into the public domain. Everywhere you go someone is taking pictures of you and you have no control over what they do with those images.

What is being proposed here, in effect, is rolling back the last 25 years of technological and economic change that no one contemplated, debated, or voted on. This all just evolved quickly before anyone could contemplate the impact. A generation long real-world experiment has proven it was a bad idea. We have created a world of outraged shut-ins and snitches. The only thing everyone agrees upon is that everyone hates the world they experience, either in reality or through their device.

Would people riot in the streets if their phones suddenly became useful only in emergencies as a way to call for help? Would there be protest marches over the loss of Facebook and YouTube? Would Zoomers begin forming militias when they can no longer video every moment of their life with their phone? Obviously not, as these things did not happen over Covid. In fact, people would adapt and maybe regrow the backbone and spirit needed to protest such things.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Who’s To Blame?

Note: The plugin I use for commenting broke for some unknown reason yesterday, which is why the comments disappeared. I disabled it so the default comment system is now running. it’s not great, but until the plugin is fixed, it will do.


Over the holidays, the great Jared Taylor was on one of the many live streams that pop up during the that time. He was asked if as a Southerner, he found some pleasure in seeing the statue toppling mobs now turning on statues of Lincoln. The irony of nonwhites going after Lincoln as a white supremacist is hard to miss. Taylor demurred, saying something along the lines that he abhorred any attacks on whites or white history, even if the person in question made war on his ancestors.

It was an interesting answer as it touches on the central problem of the current crisis we see playing out in America. Who’s to blame for it? The basic starting point of problem solving is to identify the problem and then identify the cause. When the mortgage market fell apart a decade ago, people blamed the bankers. Some people blamed the credit agencies or the regulators. There was plenty of blame to go around, so lots of people were blamed, but no one was punished.

In the case of the ongoing pogroms against white people, there is not much talk about who is responsible for it. Part of that is due to the prohibitions against white people talking about being white. One of the great ironies of this crisis is that the media is filled with invective about white people, but you will never see a white person start a sentence with “as a white person.” Whiteness is a thing that is only allowed to be a hobgoblin in the minds and mouths of the anti-whites.

Getting back to the Taylor example, he cannot laugh at the mob turning on Lincoln, because Lincoln was white, but that would apply to the mob as well. If the people doing the toppling are white, then the Taylor rule prevents a pro-white partisan from blaming them for it. An inescapable fact of the current crisis is the people leading the anti-white pogrom are often white or white presenting. Giving white people a pass on partisan grounds creates a problem when trying to assign blame.

This is why the anti-white pogroms have met so little resistance thus far. On the one hand you have the taboo against white people taking their own side. On the other hand, you have the face of the anti-white program being white or white presenting. If all of the anti-whites were black, then the problem of assigning blame would be simpler, but the leading anti-whites are almost always a pale face. The chief racketeer in the grievance rackets is a white woman named Robin DiAngelo.

The attacks on white people are just one example. The financialization of the economy starting in the 1980’s has created a massive wealth disparity. America now has an invisible over-class that owns almost all of the wealth. What they do not own directly, they control through what amounts to regulatory capture. They control the institutions that set the rules on how you can use your property. Inevitably, those rules favor the greed heads that control the financial system.

How did this happen? Who is responsible for it? Conservative will say that you cannot blame capitalism or free markets. Just like the taboo against whites taking their own side, they enforce a taboo against questioning the current economic order. Similarly, you cannot blame rich people, as that’s class warfare. If you do not like the rich people running things, get rich and challenge them. It is a version of build a better mousetrap so the world will beat a path to your door.

The Left side of the political class has an answer. They say the reason for the massive wealth disparity is white privilege and systemic racism. They focus on the white and white presenting faces running the corporations. This is a dangerous game for obvious reasons, so it is deliberately made absurd. The result, however, is white people are left with two choices when wondering who is to blame for this. They can either blame themselves or celebrate their dispossession.

This shape shifting that prevents the people from identifying the cause of the problems that plague their society is the result of democracy. When everyone has a vote, either in an election or in the economy, then everyone is to blame for the result. Don’t like woke capital? Don’t buy from it. Don’t like woke government? Don’t vote for it. The fact that no one actually voted for it or demanded it makes no difference. The blame for every problem is the imaginary neighbor who is demanding it.

This is one reason for the increasing unhappiness. It is not just the problems people can see all around them. It is the fact that there is no acceptable cause. People are left to blame themselves and their neighbors. If everyone is to blame, then everyone is the problem and everyone is in a war with everyone. The democratization of a society means the democratizing of blame. Self-hatred and self-loathing become the creed of the majority, with only the minorities are able to find a suitable enemy.

This is an unnatural condition as people are naturally inclined to find the source of their unhappiness and make that the focus of their anger. Eric Hoffer noted that “mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.” Get enough angry people together with the raw material for a shared identity and they will find their devil. This is what makes being in the ruling class a dangerous game right now. It is why they are stacking the sandbags so high.

This is usually where the conservative pops back in and says it is wrong to pin the blame on people when the problem is systemic. The thing is though, the people at the top of any society have a duty to the system that creates them. They are the stewards of the system. The ruling elite of our liberal democracy are responsible for economic and cultural troubles underlying the current crisis. It is their failure to do their duty as a ruling elite that has led us to this point. They are to blame.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Feudal Excess

The paleoconservative thinker, Sam Francis, developed the concept of anarcho- tyranny, which is when the state tyrannically regulates citizens’ lives yet is unable or unwilling to perform the basics of rule. For example, the government put speed cameras and red-light cameras up, in order to catch small violations, but if your car gets stolen, the cops will not bother looking for it. The tyranny is the micromanagement of the good citizens while driving. The anarchy is ignoring the car thieves.

It is a great framing because it is both true and easily validated. It is one of those observations that reminds us that conservatism was not always a collection of toadies and flunkies validating the latest Progressive fads. The Right used to have smart and thoughtful men genuinely concerned with the direction of Western society. They also had the courage to honestly examine what was happening. In other words, the current crisis did not sneak up on us like the fog.

Putting that aside, the paleos focused mainly on the management side of things with regards to anarcho-tyranny. Police departments are an easy example, but a similar process happened with regulatory agencies, large corporations, the academy, and the mass media. In fact, they saw these as tectonic plates of the ruling class that were slowly converging. Of course, this is what has happened. All of the power centers are occupied with the same sorts of people.

Something similar seems to have happened to the political class. It used to be that politicians spent a lot of time pretending to know the issues so they could connect with their voters. The old expression was that all politics were local. What that mean was the politicians needed to spend time among their voters, discussing the issues that concerned them. This was especially true of representative. Congressman put a heavy emphasis on being back in their districts.

You do not have to go back to far when it was rare for a politician to talk about big ideas or abstract concepts. Presidents, when giving national speeches would blather on about the meaning of America or the importance of patriotism. The rest stuck to things like making the roads better, fixing up the schools and helping business. The Democrats would talk about worker rights, in the context of higher wages. The Republicans would talk about less regulation so business could succeed.

In the 1990’s, a common thing was the town hall meeting, which was not really a town hall meeting. It was an expression for when the representative would show up in his district and take questions from his voters. This was the chance for the politician to show how much he cared about the local issues. The way he did that was by having a detailed knowledge of the facts. If someone asked about the roads, he knew all the bills and bond issues related to road repair.

This is no longer the case. In fact, the last time you are likely see your representative in person is when they are running as a challenger. Once they win office, they become an avatar on-line and on television. They never venture out among the people and the old town hall idea no longer exists. For a while they did conference calls, but now they are staged Zoom sessions with actors asking questions. In fact, Congress could now be doing its thing on a sound stage in Hollywood and no one would know.

On top of that, the avatars now talk in riddles. They lurch from one emotional crisis to the next, speaking about it in a creepy overwrought language. Minor misstatements are described as “horrendous” and “terrifying.” The primary feature of our politics now is that every ant is an elephant, and no one dares speak about the herd of elephants standing in the room. Anarcho-tyranny in politics results in emotionally charged drama over abstract concepts and ruthless ignorance of anything specific.

This is one reason the political class flew into a panic when Trump came along in the 2016 election. For all his bombast, he was talking about real things in practical terms that actually matter to people. When he spoke of immigration, he talked about rapists crossing the border and illegal aliens killing citizens. Trade was about China ripping off the country and reducing wages in the process. Trump was a throwback to the old-style politicians and that terrorized the current politicians.

This is something else the paleos touched on, but never fully explored. The managerial state not only becomes self-serving as it matures, but it also becomes inward looking, a self-contained culture. Once it becomes class-aware, as we are seeing today, it becomes rapidly insular. The dual purposes are the moral signifiers inside the system and maintaining the barrier between those inside and those outside. These work in concert to further isolate the system from the general society.

This is why our politicians sound increasingly deranged. Not sounding like normal people is very important inside the system. Who they are is not us, so they are constantly looking for ways to signal that to one another. This is why they are now barricading themselves into a green zone in Washington. Most likely, this will begin to happen at the state level. Americans will be ruled by pod people living and operating inside special zones guarded by razor wire and armed men.

The last phase of anarcho-tyranny may turn out to look something like colonial occupation, where the people in charge live in fortified towns. They use their control of the system to maintain the illusion of power, but in reality, it is all just a very expensive drama that has no practical impact, beyond the cost. The practical aspects of life are handled by corporations and ad hoc associations. Managerialism brings us full circle to a firm of feudalism with material excess.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


 

The Bad Faith Society

Note: The weekly Taki post is up here. It somewhat ties into the post below. Behind the green door is a new post on the 1960 classic, The Apartment. This was my first viewing, so I was surprised to like it, even thought I did not get any of the jokes.


When two parties attempt to negotiate a deal, the starting assumption is both sides actually want a deal. That is not always the case, but if one side thinks the other side is not coming to the table in good faith, they are wise to break off negotiations. For starters, they are wasting their time, since there is no deal to be had. Second, a party that starts a negotiation with a lie is going to keep lying. If you cannot trust anything they are saying, or their intentions, you cannot reason with them.

A simple example of this is car buying. When a person walks onto the lot, the salesman is trained to look for the signs that the person is just a tire kicker. He may profile him based on his appearance. A young guy looking at expensive sedans is probably not a serious buyer, for example. He will ask questions to determine if the person is serious about buying a car and willing to entertain an offer. The point is, he is determining if the other side is open to reason and ready to bargain in good faith.

This is the heart of any negotiation. Both sides have to start with the belief that the other side is amenable to reason and is bargaining in good faith. They may have different goals and very different ways of negotiating, but both sides have to be open to reason and come to the table in good faith. In other words, both sides want to find a deal that satisfies both sides. Otherwise, both sides are just wasting their time and perhaps harming their own interests in the process.

This is also the basis for popular government, which is nothing more than a long public negotiation. The various interests in a society have their goals regarding the issues they see as important and they work the process that is setup for hashing out the particulars and promoting their case. The public is both the referee and a counterparty. They make their voice heard throughout the process. The politicians are the hired negotiators, tasked with hashing out a compromise that satisfies the majority.

Like the simple deal between two parties, the democratic process relies on all sides being reasonable and operating in good faith. Sure, there are always bad actors trying to fool the public or game the process. The system, through elections, debates, public hearings, and investigations, is supposed to flush out the bad actors or at least correct what they have done after it is discovered. It may not be pretty, but the point is for reasonable people acting in good faith to reach a compromise.

What happens when the parties are not open to reason and they are not operating in good faith when they bargain? In a business negotiation, this often results in one side or the other breaking of negotiations. One side sees that the other is lying or up to shenanigans, so they stop wasting their time. This happens a lot, so firms train their people to look for the signs, so they do not waste their time. The most valuable commodity is time so you cannot waste it on bad deals.

In a democratic system of government, there are supposed to be rules to punish those who do not argue in good faith. Politicians who take bribes, for example, are removed from office and sent to prison. Interests that misrepresent themselves or defraud the public see their interests destroyed as a way to discourage the practice. There are laws that allow the media and the public to examine the claims of the various parties in order to root out corruption and deception. That is the theory, leastways.

That is clearly not where America is right now. Liberal democracy has evolved into one giant game of liar’s poker. Much like the financial markets, the big players in the system no longer have respect for the spirit of the rules. They never come to any deal in good faith and they are never open to reason. They want to “win” the deal by getting all of what they want at the expense of the other parties. In modern liberal democracy, no one is acting in good faith and no one is open to reason.

It is not just the big interests gaming the system. The system itself has been gamed to the point where only a sucker operates in good faith. The politicians, instead of operating as brokers and negotiators, are middlemen facilitating the looting of the system by the big players. Public debate is now a game of shadows, because the mass media lies about everything and is always pushing an agenda on behalf of the big players or their politicians working on their behalf.

Of course, the old adage about always knowing who the sucker in the room is when in a room full of sharps applies here. In the great hall that is where negotiations happen in a liberal democracy, the monied interests, the politicians, the media, and the shadowy players of the permanent ruling class put on a negotiating show. The public, until very recent, was never sure who was being conned by the grifters. As the saying goes, they were always the sucker in the system.

This is the heart of the current crisis. The reason the financial markets keep needing bailouts is because everyone inside that system is a liar. No one comes to a deal in good faith and no one is willing to reason with the other side. Everyone is trying to take advantage of everyone else. In a system of zero social trust, entropy is inevitable, which in human systems means collapse. This is why the financial markets careen from crisis to crisis, needing bailouts from the public.

Liberal democracy is mirroring the financial markets. This makes perfect sense, as the entire culture has been financialized. Republican virtue was removed from the official system long ago. What remained of it with the general public went away with the events of the last few years. America now finds itself in a world where no one acts in good faith and no one is open to reason. We have reached the point where we need a bailout, but there is no bailout for a liberal democracy that fails.


A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


 

Cats And Dogs

Anyone who has had a cat knows that the cat takes a certain pleasure in the acquisition of its food. Put food down for the dog and the dog eats the food. Put food down for the cat and it will saunter up to the dish and maybe sample a little, then take a break to watch the dish for a while, before returning for some more food. A bug gets loose in the house and the dog will just eat it, but the cat will torment the thing to death. One animal is all about the process, while the other is about the result.

This difference is something to keep in mind as America descends into the woke totalitarianism of our diversity loving masters. It is assumed that totalitarianism leads to labor camps and people disappearing in the night. Those are the examples we have from our history. The communists liked sending the uncooperative to work camps, while the fascist like shooting the inconvenient. In both cases, the point was to remove the problem and discourage others from being a problem.

Those old school totalitarians were dog people. Just as the dog is happy to eat when hungry, without thinking much about how the food was made available to him, the old totalitarians took an end justifies the means approach to exercising power. Problem people were like any other sort of problem. The point was to solve the problem, which in the case of people meant making them go away. No man, no problem. How the problem felt about what was happening was of no consideration.

Our new totalitarians turn all of this on its head. Like the cat and his food, or his prey in the case of an unfortunate insect, the end is not really the point. It is not about removing the obstacles to their project, in order to achieve some end. The dealing with the problem is the end. In the case of the poor unfortunate who has run afoul of the rulers, the point of the process is submitting the troublemaker to endless torment that has no purpose beyond the pleasure of the tormentor.

Take the doxing business as an example. The people who do this are not trying to make the victim go away, any more than the cat wants the wayward cricket to go away. To the contrary, they hope the victim will cry out in agony and make his misery into a long-drawn-out public performance. They revel in seeing the victim moan about how his PayPal was deleted or how he lost his job. For the army of the woke, the suffering of the victim and the fame for inflicting that suffering is what matters.

When the victim simply kills off his internet character, the doxers have a problem as they do not have that living trophy to show off on-line. They are forced to go onto their social media platforms and imagine how the victim is suffering. We are not far away from a time when Twitter or Facebook start creating scapegoat accounts for the anointed to attack as a part of their rituals.  Instead of relying on a real person to be the victim, they will conjure a fake one that plays the victim properly.

Of course, in every totalitarian society, the people eventually figure out the rules in order to avoid the boot. That was the point of the old totalitarian model. In the new totalitarian model, the rules will constantly change so it is nearly impossible to avoid the wrath of the official tormentors. After all, like the cat tormenting its prey, the new totalitarians care only for the process. Like an engine needs fuel, the new totalitarians need a constant supply of victims to torment.

An excellent example of this is the Covid madness. When it all started, the point was to slow the spread so the hospitals would not be too crowded. We had two weeks to flatten the curve, but after two weeks the rules changed. The rules keep changing as the rulers find new ways to torment us, causing people to go into the streets to protest the new torments, to the delight of the tormentors. Covid has revealed that the new totalitarians are little more than sadists.

What this means, of course, is that there will be not settling into a set of fixed rules as happened in communist societies. We do not know if this would have happened in certain fascist societies, but the experience of Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal and Pinochet’s Chile suggest the fascists would have settled into a conservative system of fixed rules. The new system, in contrast, will be perpetually disrupting this tendency in order to perpetuate the necessary disorderliness.

The question is whether any society can go on very long when the rules are constantly changing in order to give the Torquemada’s more victims. A bedrock requirement for any society is a set of rules to govern conduct. In order to have an organization of humans greater than the Dunbar number means having a code and a way to enforce that code in order to make the code a habit of mind. This is what we think of when we think of culture. The rules we live by because we just do.

We are already seeing problems with the Covid madness. The ever-changing rules are making life impossible for small business. In some areas, whole swaths of the economy have collapsed. Of course, the religious aspects to compliance are pitting people against one another. The new totalitarians are creating a Hobbesian world where it is a war of all against all, not for limited resources, but due to the deliberate cacophony of every changing rules that have no logic.

The good news, if there is any, is that totalitarianism has diminishing returns, as the cost of maintaining it eventually dwarfs the benefits. Initially it seems to work pretty well, but over time the costs become unsustainable. This new totalitarianism is especially front loaded, almost accelerationist. It is destroying every reason for people to remain loyal to the system. Instead of carrying on for several generations, the new totalitarianism will be lucky to make it past this decade.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte.

The Cult Of Safety

For most of human history, the focus of society was on the material side. Progress was about increasing the material wellbeing of people. In fact, political philosophy was solely focused on material well-being. The great battle in the West was over what sort of political economy would provide the most stuff for the most people. Eventually, liberal democracy won over communism. Then the debate subtly changed from material well-being to the overall safety of people. Safety is the new goal.

For example, an increasingly common thing if you work in an office is the notice that the vents will be cleaned one night. You are told to expect some disruption of your day or maybe some things will be moved around in the office. A crew comes in to clean the vents for so everyone is safe. Residential rental properties are now required in most states to have the dryer vents cleaned once a year. In some states, home owners are required to do this too. Vent cleaning is a thing now.

It is more than just a thing. It is a booming little niche business. According to one of the rapidly growing vent cleaning companies, the demand for vent cleaning is growing at close to four percent per year. They say that the increased awareness to the dangers posed by home clothes dryers is what is driving the growth. The claim is the number of accidents caused by these appliances is making people suspicious of what’s happening in those vents, so they want all the vets cleaned regularly.

Of course, This is true to a great degree. In the office space, people have come to believe that whatever is being cleaned out of those heat and air conditioning ducts is bad for the people inside the offices. Sick building syndrome is one of those things people have come to accept without question. The same is true of the dangers posed by the common household dryer. Mention this to someone and they will claim that clothes dryers cause a lot of fires every year.

Interestingly, none of this is true. According to the government, there are about 2900 dryer fires per year. There is no data on fires caused by debris or dust in the ventilation ducts of buildings. The damage resulting from those dryer fires total $35 million per year. Only about a third is caused by too much fuzz in the dryer vent, so that means it is a $12 million problem. Put another way, we have a $350 million dollar industry to solve a problem a bit less serious than bathtub drownings.

The other odd thing about the vent cleaning craze is that people don’t bother questioning it. They just assume it is a real thing. If you ask someone about the dryer vent business, they will fight you about the facts, claiming that clothes dryers have always been a menace. If you point out the facts, they get mad at you, as if you are questioning a tenant of their religion. Seemingly out of nowhere, vent cleaning has become an important part of keeping us safe.

That is the key to it. Safety has become something of a religion. After all, you can never be too safe. We know this because we are constantly being told by the mass media and our government that we can never be too safe. We spent trillions waging a crusade against Muslims because we had to be safe from terror. We are now spending trillions on Covid, so we can be safe from illness. We’re all in this together, whether we like it or not, because our safety is what matters.

This explains, in part, the bizarre over reaction we saw from our rulers over the protests in Washington. These are the high priests of the cult of safety. They live the safest of lives and depend on faith in safety for their existence. This reminder that no one can ever be truly safe, especially the rulers of a society, was like telling them that their gods are completely fake. They proved that was a lie by turning their palaces into fortified bunkers guarded by heavily armed soldiers.

An easy to miss subtext to the continued lockdowns is the claim that working at home is safer than going to the office. Children at school skin knees and bump their heads, which does not happen when schools are closed. Fewer people commuting means fewer car accidents. The annual flu has been eradicated, they claim, because everyone stays home, instead of mingling with the public. Even if our heroes defeat Covid, staying home is just safer and safer is always better.

There is an obvious problem with this. It is really hard to run a human society when everyone is locked in their pods. Some people can work at home, for sure, but most people need supervision. We are social animals and our sense of self is tied to our participation in our group. This extends to society as a whole. People in isolation from one another or isolated into little tribes lose their group identity. They begin to take on the mentality of prisoners, rather than citizens.

There are also the diminishing returns. The dryer vent business is a great example of how not to solve a problem. An iron rule of life is the solution can never be more expensive than the problem. The dryer vent issue is a great example of how the price of being safer far outweighs the value of being safer. We have long since passed the point of diminishing returns regarding safety. Since there is no limiting principle to the religion of safety, we keep trying anyway, despite the cost.

An easy to overlook angle here is the fact that these efforts to insulate ourselves from risk must fail. The dominant justification for the current arrangements is that it is making us safer. At some point, something bad happens and people will suddenly be less safe. A recession, for example. The gods of safety will be proven to be false or feckless gods. Faith depends on confirmation and nothing harms a religion like a bit of disconfirmation, which in this case is inevitable.

Then again, perhaps we have reached the point in our development that the Eloi reached in the novel Time Machine. The protagonist, having observed the Eloi, the humans of the future, noted that “strength is the outcome of need; security sets a premium on feebleness.” That is modern people. We are now too weak and feeble to question our arrangements. Instead, all that matters is the sense of safety and security, whether is real or imagined. Safety is now our god.


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link.   If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte.

The Game of Life

Note: There is a post up behind the green door on the movie Pulp Fiction, which clocks in at #95 on the top-100 list. There is a post up at Taki on the change we are seeing in the political climate.


What has gotten the most attention on this side this past week is the hypocrisy by the ruling class and their histrionic flunkies in the media over the peaceful protest in the Capitol last week. The first response of normal people is to note how the same people raging about these protests were celebrating violent riots in the summer. In what remains of the internet, people have been posting examples of people in politics or the media saying the exact opposite of what they said a few months ago.

Normal people have been programmed to think hypocrisy is important, even though it is clearly not important to the people in the ruling class. Normal people are taught that a civil society operates by a clear set of rules that apply to everyone. When the people in the ruling class have one set of rules for normal people and a different set of rules for themselves, normal people get mad. The ruling class, however, does not care, as there is one set of rules for them and another for the rest of us.

This focus on hypocrisy has left something unnoticed. That is the increasingly overwrought behavior of our rulers. They have become a collection of hysterical drama queens, who carry on like the world is about to end. This is the one thread connecting all of the insanity we have experienced from our rulers recently. Their reaction is wildly out of proportion from what is expected. The actual news, when you think about it, is always about their emotionally charged reaction to mostly normal events.

If we go way back to the 2016 election, the political class reacted as if the most important man in history had come out of his cryogenic chamber in Paraguay and seized control of the government. Instead of analyzing why it was there preferred option was rejected and making the normal adjustments, they concocted wild fantasies about invisible Russians and carried on like teenage girls for four years. It has already been forgotten, but they really believed that Russia stuff.

The Covid stuff is another great example. The local tyrants have used this minor public health issue to feature themselves in a drama of their own creation. In this story, they are heroically fighting the great virus enemy. They are rallying the people in a great cause to prevent the extinction of mankind. The media slavishly reports on their great deeds as if they are out slaying dragons or facing the Black Knight. The buffoonish governor of New York even had a book written about his heroism.

What should be a minor public health issue has been turned into a great drama acted out by emotionally unstable people. According to the CDC, over 250 million people have been tested with 22 million confirmed cases. Total deaths in 2020 were in line with what you would expect, given the country’s demographics. A little higher due to Covid and a little higher due to the reaction. Sober-minded people would have treated this as a very bad flu season. Our hysterical rulers treated it as the end times.

The most recent example of the overwrought behavior by our rulers is the reaction to the protest last Wednesday. The “storming of the Capitol” was really just a bunch of people walking past the cops and going inside the building. Sure, juvenile pranksters livestreamed themselves doing shenanigans, but other than the Pence aide murdering Ashli Babbitt, it was nothing more than a frat house prank. It was nothing like the Kavanaugh protests just a short time ago.

The reaction by the rulers is as if a rebel army laid siege to the Capitol and set fire to most of the city. The FBI has been tasked with hunting down, in the most dramatic way, all of the protestors. Their media lackeys are now calling the Capitol protestors “insurrectionists” and demanding they be destroyed. Instead of calling it a protest, they are calling it a siege. Again, the image is of a foreign army attacking the center of the empire, like the Gauls sacking Rome in 387 BC.

For the inauguration they have now deployed army and national guard units. The media lackeys are bragging that they will be prepared and enthusiastic about using lethal force if any protestors turn up that day. Pelosi has been trying to get the Army to remove Trump from office. She apparently thinks he could launch a nuclear attack. We have come a long way from the America where citizens were expected to petition their government for the redress of grievances.

What we are seeing is the reaction of people who are no longer engaged in normal life, but instead are playing the game of life. They are immersed in a live action role playing game operated by juvenile narcissists. The ruling class gets to imagine themselves as world historical figures and every event puts the world on a knife edge. Their actions will determine the outcome. The entire ruling class is swept up in these false dramas that they get to play, while the rest of the country suffers.

Another clue is how they echo one another in the use of dramatic language to describe mundane events. One uses some over-the-top language then the rest of them are repeating it, maybe adding on some more dramatic language. The “protest” went from “riot” to “insurrection” to “horrendous insurrection” in a few cycles. They are competing with one another to show their loyalty to the group. What matters to them in this game is the opinion of the people in the game, not the rest of us.

America has reached a point where the ruling class and its various support structures is no longer connected to the people over whom it rules. They are inside Versailles or the Winter Palace, imagining what is happening outside. Meanwhile, outside, the world is nothing like the rulers imagine. The people outside look at the palaces and try to understand what is happening inside, based on the noises and behavior they see from the organs of the state.

That really is the root of their anger. The outside broke though the wall and gently reminded them that life is not a game and they are not great men. In the game they are always the winners, but in real life they are judged by their actions. It may take a while, but they will be held accountable. This is what angers them. They hate this reality, which is why they cling to the alternative reality of their fantasy, but reality does not go away when you stop believing it.


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